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No8yogi

Ultrasonic Cleaners

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Yep same here the one I have has 4 settings of a minute each up to 4 min's I just run it through twice so 8 min's total usually turning parts half way through and like 'dadistic' I also use a couple of small glass jars with cleaning solution in placed in the bath of normal tap water. Any plastic I've found clouds and degrades so don't put plastic parts in. Mine came with a free sample of SeaClean2 Ultrasonic cleaner which I have to say does a fine job but I also use lighter fuel but remember it is combustable and ultrasonic cleaners produce heat when cleaning.

 

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For the moment I clean in VM&P (Varnish Makers and Painters) Naptha, and rinse in Anhydrous (no water) Isopropyl Alcohol, to remove any residue and provide fast drying. I dry the parts with a hair dryer so no water condenses on them. I plan to buy some real watch cleaning and rinsing solutions soon, just waiting for the budget to catch up to the wish list. :)

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I also use naphta and alcohool. 

 

But imho this ultrasonic cleaning should be done as a final stage. The thick gummy oil and dirt should be addressed with a brush and pegwood (under naphta).

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Hey. One more thing about the ultrasonic cleaner. You put the parts in the beaker with the cleaning fluid and then you put it into the cleaner (which is already filled with tap water) so the beaker floods with the tap water?

Or do you keep the level of tap water lower than the beaker edge?

Thanks.

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I have used this type of cleaner for a long time now without problems.  I use the small jam jars like the ones you get in hotels and restaurants set into tap water with the lids back on. I bought some small wire ball cages for really small bits.  For general cleaning And first wash I use lighter fluid but only the sort that is pure Naptha as some fluids have other ingredients - the side of the can should advise.  My rinse is pure Isapropanol as this leaves next to no residues. Check your fluids by putting a few drops on a small mirror and allow them to evaporate. If there is a residue this will be left on the glass use a dark cloth to wipe it to see.

I should mention that I do not use professional kit as I only ever clean in small amounts being a tinkerer/ hobbyist rather than a pro.  Buying gallons of wash and rinse along with a full machine would be pointless for me.

Also this topic is well covered in the forum if you want to do a trace. Also well covered are the warnings about not ultrasonic cleaning pallet forks with jewels attached by shellac in solvent cleaners.

Cheers,

Vic

Edited by Vich
Forgot to mention jar lids and wire cages

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For cleaning watch parts I use Travena Safety Solvent Cleaner as a cleaner and final rinse, it's an organic cleaner. I also use it on electronic components. I leave items to dry naturally or somtimes blow dry. The manufacturers say it leaves no residue and I've found that to be the case. I've not experienced any problems, yet.

If anyone wants to try it, test it on scrap watches first to make sure you're happy with it.

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Hi guys, i've been looking at purchasing an ultrasonic cleaner. Through searching the forums i have been lead to this thread so i thought id give it a bump instead of creating a new topic.

Since i made some big mistakes on buying expensive tools when i didn't really need to, i thought i'd ask what is the difference between these two cleaners? I can see the Elma has a heater but i don't need that as i can just use a hairdryer and also the frequency is different. The Elma is 37hz and the 7000s is 42hz, is there an ideal frequency? The one featured in this thread is similar to the James7000s. So the James is £20 and the Elma is £300 any need to spend the extra £££??

http://www.jamesproducts.co.uk/files/ULTRA-7000S.pdf

 

https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/elma-e-line-low-use

 

 

 

 

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This is the same as the one I use, but without a heater.  

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/311379507558?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

If you watch repair is purely hobby, this is more than good enough.  I find the heater on mine not necessary as I just fill it with water at 50 degrees centigrade and place the components in small jars with cleaner in them.  When running, the ultrasonic transducer keeps the water warm enough for the job.  Remember to pre-heat the jars of cleaner before you start by placing them in a basin of warm watter first.  

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Thanks Geoff very interesting. I shall definitely save my money .

I was just wondering (this might sound stupid) but if you place your beaker of cleaning fluid with your parts inside the ultrasonic cleaner how do the waves create agitation inside the beaker/jar? Maybe I'm missing something here...

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I've cleaned things directly in the tank and indirectly in jars with no difference in cleaning quality whatsoever.  

For items like watch cases and bracelets, I just place them directly in the basket an use plain water.

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16 minutes ago, Geo said:

The ultrasonic vibrations penetrate the glass.  Using small jars is the most economical way of using cleaner.

I think the ultrasonic leaner I recommended comes complete with basket for playing your jars in.

And what type of cleaning fluid do you use?

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24 minutes ago, TimFitz said:

And what type of cleaning fluid do you use?

I use this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SPECIAL-CLOCK-CLEANING-CONCENTRATE-NO-1-BRASS-CLEANER-500ML-PLUS-FREE-CLOCK-OIL-/252130840529?hash=item3ab42b4fd1:g:S5EAAOSwtnpXpDvg for cleaning followed by a hor water rinse the a further rinse in isopropyl alcohol.  I use a blower to evaporate the alcohol.

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29 minutes ago, Geo said:

I use this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SPECIAL-CLOCK-CLEANING-CONCENTRATE-NO-1-BRASS-CLEANER-500ML-PLUS-FREE-CLOCK-OIL-/252130840529?hash=item3ab42b4fd1:g:S5EAAOSwtnpXpDvg for cleaning followed by a hor water rinse the a further rinse in isopropyl alcohol.  I use a blower to evaporate the alcohol.

Do you use this on watches?

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Hi, from what I am realizing in cleaning clocks and watches, there simply is a total lack of watch cleaning machines in the U.S.A.  What seems to be available is using an ultrasonic machine with the heater turned off.  A vendor recommends filling the ultrasonic tank with water and placing parts in baskets in the jars filled with cleaner and rinses and run the machines.  I know there are used L& M machines on eBay, but if that is being by ultrasonics so be it.  Any thoughts? Stephen in Thousand Oaks, California

 

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In my opinion it depends on how many watches/clocks you are going to clean. For the occasional clean then a good ultrasonic cleaner/s is perfectly good & will give really good results. I now have a re-furbed L&R which also gives great results but requires little attention during the cleaning process & it dries the parts as well.
I still have my ultrasonic machines & I use them for the larger clock parts & for cleaning watch cases & strapes etc.
In the Ultrasonics I have one with Elma cleaning solution & and in the other a Elma rinsing solution & I then dry with a hair drier. It takes longer using an ultrasonic but gives very good results.

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To be honest modern state of the art Ultrasonic Watch cleaning machines is a professional level tool, those of us who have picked up L&R machines are buying machines from the 40's-70's which makes them more affordable for hobbyist. If you can find a L&R Varimatic, and ultrasonic unit, then there is a place in San Rafael,California that will refurbish them for a moderate price, the ultrasonic unit is converted over to solid state, the companies name is Electronic Instrument Service, also there is Time Machine Repair, where they sell both used and new machines which appears to be in New Jersey.

Now if your question is more aimed at is it worth getting an ultrasonic watch cleaner, then yes, but like everything in Horology, it depends on your level of need versus you level of funding. While it is perfectly acceptable to have a single ultrasonic to service both watches and clocks (simply use a glass jar to place your watch cleaner and parts into, then float it in the clock cleaner in your ultrasonic), if you can afford getting a new or refurbished ultrasonic watch cleaner, it is much easier and nicer, then you have the automated Varimatic makes it even better and you are able to break down a watch and set it up for cleaning, then start the cleaning process while your working on different watch.

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The only time I ever used any type of machine with clocks was on the better travel alarms and swiza movements, I used an old national cleaner for them.  All other clock movements were cleaned in the old traditional ways. With watches I had a L&R Varimatic machine with the ultrasonic attachment, cleaning fluid L&R cleaner and rinse, this I found to be the best cleaning machine that I had ever used giving excellent results.

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6 hours ago, Oaksclocks said:

there simply is a total lack of watch cleaning machines in the U.S.A

Actually that statement is incorrect there are watch ultrasonic cleaning machines available in the US. Unfortunately as the number of people repairing watches decreases the price of the tools increase. In this case increased dramatically but they are available.

So I have a couple of links first one conveniently has a price the rest don't have a price but the last time I saw price for the second link 17,500 versus $13,500 for the first one. Then yes there are other ones out there but unless you've won a lottery a really big lottery isn't much point in discussing. Third link for those of you that are curious what a $17,500 cleaning machine looks like YouTube video. Then the shop I work at has one of these it does a phenomenal job of cleaning things. It also makes a really interesting sell when it's running for the most part it's pretty cleaning except that the end where it sounds like Darth Vader. I assume it's purging the chambers of vacuum just makes a really interesting sound when it does that.

Then the last link when I was googling this came up. PDF magazine the particular issue is on cleaning even though the the machines once again are astronomically expensive there is still a lot Of interesting things.

Then clock repair is easier because the tank ultrasonic machines are available in a variety of sizes and prices because they used for so many other applications than cleaning watches or clocks. So if you have a tank type cleaning machine placing cleaning fluids in beakers or jars suspending them in the machine works really well for home cleaning. I have a really tiny little machine I use it with a beaker works really nice.

http://www.jewelerssupplies.com/product3738.html

 

http://www.julesborel.com/s.nl/it.A/id.39816/.f?sc=31&category=991505

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F67g_F_L14

http://www.awci.com/wp-content/uploads/ht/December2012.pdf

 

 

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